Apple's Health app provides key evidence in German rape & murder case

in iPhone
The iPhone's Health app is playing a vital role in a German trial, in which the suspect is accused of raping and murdering a 19-year-old female student in Freiburg.

The suspect is thought to have disposed of the woman's body in a river, but a portion of time was missing from collected geodata and surveillance video, Motherboard said on Thursday, citing Germany's Welt. Investigators turned to his iPhone, hiring an unknown Munich firm to break into it after he refused to share his passcode.

Critically, during the time the suspect is thought to have dragged the body down a river embankment and climbed back up, the Health app logged him as "climbing stairs." Local police successfully tried to recreate his movements.

It's not clear which iPhone model was involved, or how it was cracked, but Apple has included the Health app on iPhones since the 2014 release of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6.

Health data is only saved locally, on-device and in encrypted iTunes backups, meaning that Apple can't provide it if it's served with a warrant for iCloud data. People with third-party HealthKit-enabled fitness trackers could theoretically have some data saved elsewhere.

Encryption remains a controversial subject, as some in politics, law enforcement, and espionage have complained that smartphone encryption -- particularly on iPhones, and some third-party iOS apps -- has caused communications to "go dark" even with legal search orders. Apple has defended its policies as protecting the privacy and security of users.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,722member
    “You’re crushing it today! Keep it going with one more murder to reach your stabbing goal.”
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  • Reply 2 of 4

    “Critically, during the time the suspect is thought to have dragged the body down a river embankment and climbed back up, the Health app logged him as "climbing stairs.””

    It must be a 6 or newer. 5S lacks barometer; my office is on second floor, and after procuring a X, I’m suddenly getting credit for climbing 175 flights a month. The only way Health would have logged his activity as stair-climbing prior to 6 was if he entered that as his exercise routine, which would be fairly unlikely, and even then he’d be getting hosed on his calorie burn.

  • Reply 3 of 4
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,529member

    Okay i thought they found that he record the act in the health app since it now will track sexual activity.

    I have said it before the phone is now your nanny and will rat you out. When in car GPS's came out and guys who cheated on their wives would put their mistress address into the GPS only to have the wife find it.

  • Reply 4 of 4
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,447administrator
    Since six of you can't manage to follow forum rules on posting regarding politics, we're closing comments on this thread.
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